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These Girlfriends Are Getting Ready to Compete Against Each Other at the Beijing Olympics

These Girlfriends Are Getting Ready to Compete Against Each Other at the Beijing Olympics

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Kim Meylemans and Nicole Silveira may be fierce competitors on the frozen track, but IRL, they're the sweetest of partners! 

When the 2022 Winter Olympics open in Beijing next month, the world's top winter athletes will be competing to bring home gold and glory for their countries. In the sport of skeleton, though, two of those Olympians are more than just competitors -- they're also partners in real life.

Kim Meylemans of Belgium and Nicole Silveira of Brazil may be the fiercest of competitors on the frozen track, but off it they are in a committed relationship with each other.

"It's very special to be able to share [the] Olympic games with your partner," Meylemans revealed in a recent interview with Outsports. "It's an extremely stressful high-pressure period, so to have my person there as a comfort and safe space is of immense value to me, and also my performance. It brings a sense of calmness and normality into the most crazy weeks of our career."

The pair told Outsports they connected three years ago through their sport, grew closer over time, and finally went official with their relationship in mutual Instagram posts last December.

"As time went on, our connection grew stronger and well, here we are now," Silveira shared. "We talk a lot about how this is a very unique situation. Where we are actually competing in the same sport but against each other. It's fun and challenging all at the same time."

Meylemans and Silveira represent a new generation of skeleton skaters from small and/or emerging countries, according to the International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation (IBSF). Silveira recently won the overall IBSF North American Cup ranking while Meylemans became the first Belgian skeleton competitor at the Olympics in 2018.

Meylemans is also an athlete ambassador for Out For The Win, the nonprofit organization that seeks to increase the visibility of LGBTQ+ athletes in sports by allowing them to share their truths with a wider audience.

She explained in a post to the group's Instagram how she came out at the age of 18 after five years as a skeleton athlete because "hiding your true colors takes a lot of energy and I decided to use my energy for my sport instead."

Skeleton is an extremely dangerous sport requiring peak physical conditioning, mental awareness, and reaction times, along with a fearless resolve. Athletes hurdle down the frozen track and high speed on little more than a small half-body sled.

Regardless of how Meylemans and Silveira finish next month, it looks like they've already won gold off the ice!

RELATED | Here Are the Out Athletes Competing At the 2022 Winter Olympics (So Far)

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